NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co LLC (Transco) is experiencing increased demand because of the heat wave blanketing the U.S. Northeast, and shippers should balance supply with demand to maintain pipeline integrity, the Williams Cos Inc unit said on Thursday.
Transco said in a website posting that it had limited flexibility to manage any system imbalances.
"Absent voluntary imbalance management by shippers, Transco may be required to take further action, including the issuance of an imbalance operational flow order (OFO)," the posting said.
OFOs typically require shippers to balance supply and demand within a specified tolerance band.
Transco's 10,200-mile gas pipeline system has the capacity to carry 9.9 billion cubic feet of supply per day from the Gulf Coast to markets throughout the Southeast, mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including New York City.
New York and much of the U.S. Northeast baked under a heat wave on Thursday, with high temperatures expected to top out in the high-90s Fahrenheit for the fifth straight day. Humidity levels were making it feel more like over 100 degrees F all week.
Friday's high temperatures were also seen in the high-90s F before a slight break in the heat over the weekend, according to the Weather Channel's weather.com.
Next-day gas prices on the Transco pipeline at the New York citygate were down nearly 50 cents early on Thursday to near $5.10 per million British thermal units, according to gas traders.
Prices hovered above $5 all this week, their first time above $5 since a late-winter cold spell in April.